Design Printing and Scanning

The Design Printing and Scanning Working Group develops and demonstrates best practices for X3D support of Computer-Aided Design (CAD), 3D Printing, and 3D Scanning applications

This member-only working group meets on Tuesdays when required from 08-09:00 pacific and discussions occur on the Design Printing and Scanning mailing list. Web3D Calendar

Member-only resources: Meeting Link, Agenda, Minutes and Documents 

Computer-aided engineering is achieving expanding capability to design engineered products; to comprehensively measure, through 3D scanning, the shape and dimensions of physical objects; and through 3D printing to create a physical object from a digital design model. The mission of the Design Printing and Scanning Working Group  is to promote usage of the X3D standard to enable visualization and interchange of the data  required for these technologies.  Originally named the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Working Group, this endeavor was renamed in summer 2017 with a broader scope of work to reflect the many important efforts being pursued.

The efforts  of the Design Printing and Scanning Working Group build on the existing strengths of the X3D standard. As a non-proprietary international standard  X3D can be used in academia, in hobbyist and enthusiast market, and in small and large businesses. New workflows and processes to use X3D in computer-aided design, 3D scanning, and 3D printing will rest on the existing foundation of presenting interactive 3D content over a range of platforms including desktop, mobile devices, in the HTML5/WebGL environment, and in virtual reality systems. The X3D standard already supports  a range of geometric modeling capabilities including tessellated surfaces, NURBS surface, and geometric primitives such as point sets and line sets. These will be leveraged by the Working Group for processes using X3D in 3D printing and 3D scanning. The existing capability of X3D to include metadata in a flexible, extensible manner will mean that non-geometric information critical to the success of 3D printing and 3D scanning operations can be packaged along with the geometric data generated and used in these operations.

The work of this group recognizes that no single standard or format can satisfy all the needs of all applications, but that X3D can acts as a central hub that can route engineering information between diverse engineering applications. To this end a central focus of the group is to develop workflows and tools to import and export data between X3D and other international standards or, when feasible, proprietary formats. When data is presented in an X3D file it can be visualized with X3D players available over all platforms and the geometric data and metadata can be written and read with open, non-proprietary tools. The Working Group will also aid in documenting and clarifying the current X3D standard, in particular the CAD Geometry Component, and will lead efforts to develop extensions to the standard to further support design, printing, and scanning.

The interest areas of this group, particularly in printing and scanning, naturally overlap with the interests of other Web3D working groups such as Medical, Geospatial, and Cultural Heritage; and this working group will also profit from the resources, capabilities and expertise of the working groups. This working group will also engage in cooperative liaisons with other standards development organizations to improve interoperability between those standards and X3D.

Current active development of this group and its members include:

  • Development of best practices for incorporating metadata useful for 3D printing and scanning in X3D files.
  • Liaison with DICOM and ISO JTC1 /S SG 3 committees to promote cooperative usage of X3D with other standards.
  • Develop and improve X3D import and export capabilities of the Cura printing software.


Vince Marchetti, KShell | Email: